January 24, 2013

Kitchen Sparkle - Declutter Lesson

Oh my goodness, last week and this week have been filled with “Kitchen Sparkle.”  I’m working that lesson but it is definitely taking longer because of the day to day interruptions.   One big interruption is our dog, Molly.  She will be one next month and she is definitely all puppy.  – but back to the Kitchen Sparkle lesson.  I have been taking the time to go through the cupboards and I am purging them of stuff I don’t need and of too many duplicates that I don’t need.  It’s freeing and it is so much easier to cook when you can find items easily in drawers and cabinets. 

I was going to post pictures but I decided against it.  Sometimes pictures tend to turn into brag sessions.  Just imagine that you have cupboards that are stuffed full with all sorts of gadgets, dishes, plastic storage items and such.  When you need something, especially a container for leftovers, it sends you on a hunt and it ends with frustration.  There is the bottom but no lid.  Ugh.

Now imagine that you have been able to give away about ¼ of all that clutter and now you have pretty shelf paper down on the shelves, everything is orderly and when you need an item, you can easily find it.  Putting clean dishes away is a breeze.

It’s a wonderful feeling to have that job done.  I have decluttered a little in the dining room as I had a set of fiesta ware style dishes hidden in the back of a kitchen cupboard that I moved to the dining room buffet; which meant I had to declutter the buffet for those dishes to fit into. 

I went through the standard “I better hang on to this as I may need it some time.”  One of those items was a gadget that peels and slices an apple.  It has sat in a box for a few years.  I always thought I would use it when I canned apple pie filling, but I found that when I turned the crank to peel and slice the apple, some grease would get on the apple.  It was a pain to store, an equal pain to use and I found that I could peel an apple and slice it up the old fashioned way in a short amount of time.  A vegetable/fruit peeler takes up a small amount of space compared to the box that gadget came in. 

Sometimes we fall into the trap of owning too many kitchen gadgets when a simple old fashioned kitchen tool will do the job just as well.  A nice knife can chop and dice vegetables, it fits nicely into a drawer versus having a hand chopper that yes, can do the same job faster, but it takes up a lot more space. 

The same holds true of a lot of pots in different sizes and several pans.  I have come to realize that at one time I can only have 4 items on the four burners on my stove.  I don’t need 3 large skillets.  Two is plenty.  I don’t need 3 large pots, two will be fine.   How many sets of dishes you do need?  If you ever really have that potluck for 36 people don’t you think that you could use disposable plates or better yet, ask the people to bring their own plates?

Those just in case times never seem to come but if they do, I can call my daughter in law and borrow a pan or a pot and that will be fine OR I can improvise. 

We fill our houses with gadgets that we really don’t need.  They are like a new car that loses its thrill after a couple of weeks.   They cost money, they take up space and most of them take a lot of time to clean and maintain. 

My challenge to you is to look at those gadgets and think about how long it has been since you used them.  Treat them like clothes.  If you haven’t used them in a long time, maybe it is time to give them away.  Clean out those cupboards and drawers and get your kitchen in order so you can cook with ease.  Better yet, so you can quit eating out and eat home more. Save money, time and frustration beginning this year.

I am enjoying this first step of getting my house in order.  Next up with the Kitchen Sparkle lesson is to deep clean the kitchen.  This will be so much easier to do with less stuff in the room.


Nicole said...

This is such a great thing to do periodically.

We keep moving, and we keep losing kitchen storage space. So it forces me to pare down. I refuse to store kitchen things in other parts of the house because it's so impractical and it's just a waste of space and time. So I pare down and donate. It feels good. A place for everything and everything in it's place.

Pam said...

I am with you all the way, I made a start on my Kitchen last weekend and decluttered my dresser. I had two or three of so many items "just in case" All the duplicates have now found homes with people who needed them. I am a keen baker but 12 cooling racks! I only have one double oven so 4 is plenty, 3 stick blenders I can only use 1 at a time and so on. My every day china went the same way and I now use my pretty china all the time. Life is short and my kitchen is already a nicer place and my china makes the dresser so attractive.

Martha said...

@Nicole and Pam - Yea - doesn't it feel good to do this? I love cooking in my kitchen more than ever now.